Don’t forget the value of good networking skills

With social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn becoming main stream, I am finding that good ‘ol fashioned networking is still a much needed component for most businesses. Let me tell you why!

Last weekend, I attended a networking event with fellow virtual assistants. As we shared detailes about ourselves, we also shared who our ideal clients were and the industries that we served. You may be thinking, so? The crux of this is that some people make fatal networking mistakes such as:

  • Talking all about themselves
  • Failing to ask questions to the other people in the group
  • Commanding the conversation with out letting the other party speak
  • Collecting business cards

  • The key to networking is to listen, listen listen!

    Say you attended an event, met “Joe”, and listened to everything that Joe had to say about himself. How is Joe going to be able to market himself to you when he knows nothing about you? Had Joe taken the time to ask you questions, he may have discovered, for example, that you are not in need of his services, but your colleague is. I can only imagine the amount of missed opportunities because people are too wrapped up in themselves to get to know the other person.

    The goal here is to build relationships and you do that by getting to know people. You are not going to buy from someone only after meeting them for five minutes, so don’t expect the same in return! Now that I am getting to know my new fellow virtual assistant counterparts, I can be sure that if opportunities arise where I may be in need of their services or know of other people that are, they will get the referral!